Contract Disputes

Demand Letters: HL&C will draft demand letters to the party unwilling to perform in accordance with their contractual duties. The letters are brief and to the point. They explain what we want to accomplish and provide a directive for the other party to comply with before the institution of legal proceedings. Of course, the legal proceedings are important as the underlying threat to take the demand letter seriously. HL&C has experience drafting such letters for contracts pertaining to the sell of medical equipment to the enforcement of construction contracts. We understand the expediency of demand letter requests, and we can turn around a quality finished product efficiently to enhance its powerful effect.

Complaint Drafting and Litigation: The next step might mean filing a complaint to request the court to enter a judgment that orders the other party to comply with the contract or to compensate the non-breaching party for expectations foregone. HL&C drafts high caliber complaints to achieve that end. 

Settlement Agreements and Negotiation: Throughout the course of the dispute, the parties will engage in negotiation and mediation to attempt to resolve the conflict. HL&C has skilled negotiators who ensure that the dialogue hovers around what is most important to our clients. We obtain beneficial outcomes for our clients and work amicably with the other side to ideally retain working relationships when we can. We understand how important relationships are to small businesses - we use that to our client's advantage.

Small Claims Court: Some disputes will qualify for the small claims division of civil court. Generally, the small claims court is a less formal forum to hear a complaint that is less than $10,000 in controversy. Each county sets its own guidelines, however, and some counties in North Carolina limit the amount in controversy even more. This is a good way to settle a dispute that does not contain significant monetary damages, and a magistrate will preside over the hearing. While a lawyer is not always needed in small claims court, HL&C can brief your complaint and support your arguments so that you enter the hearing prepared. 

District and Superior Civil Court: If the amount in controversy is higher than 10,000, or the dispute contains issues better suited for a more formal court setting, HL&C can skillfully represent you throughout the litigation process. Attorney Hastings has won civil procedures awards and has navigated the court process at all levels of the hearing's stage. 

Remedies: There will be several possible remedies to consider throughout the process. HL&C is great at listening to our clients and discovering what is in their best interest to pursue in terms of outcomes. 

The continued success of the free market depends on the enforceability of obligations incurred at arm's length.

Avoiding Contract Disputes

Electronic Agreements: HL&C can draft contracts and we provide an electronic format that allows both parties to review and sign the contents efficiently and responsibly. We use a drop-down technique that ensures each party reads and understands pertinent provisions so that each knows the contents without feeling overwhelmed at the length of the agreement. We also created the format so that you cannot sign the final page until you have understood all of the preceding provisions. This protects your rights and ensures a full understanding of the contract.

Legal Validity: Electronic signatures carry the same legal force as regular signatures. The enactment of E-Sign, a federal law that preempts inconsistent state laws to the contrary, permits e-signatures in almost all commercial transactions. Take advantage of that ability and let HL&C draft and facilitate your contract. 

NDA: An NDA is a nondisclosure agreement. HL&C can draft and review these for you. NDAs enable you to share sensitive information without fear that the person will use the information to your detriment. They are useful for when startups begin their business and seek investors. They are useful for when employers want to begin the process of selecting candidates for employment. It allows for the ability to share information safely and securely to prevent possible litigation down the road. We can draft these for you and allow you to proceed in confidence. We can also review the agreements to ensure they comport with the law.

Privacy and Terms of Use Agreements: In addition, HL&C can draft and review privacy and terms of use agreements for your website or product. These agreements set the framework for how people can use and share the content on your website. We can integrate the agreements such that they can be easily added to your website prior to a person's entry on a specific page you want protected. Please don't hesitate to contact us about all of these potential options.

Landlord/Tenant Agreements: HL&C has experience with the review and drafting of commercial and residential lease agreements for both tenants and landlords. North Carolina has property laws unique to the rest of the country, so please make sure to have a professional review the contents of an agreement or draft the agreement on your behalf to ensure the provisions match with what's allowed under North Carolina law. Otherwise, default rules might apply with burdensome demands. We can mitigate that risk before it even materializes.